Labour clings to control in country’s capital

5 May 2017

Labour have retained control of Cardiff council with a reduced majority.

Labour secured exactly 39 seats, the minimum to ensure control over the city council, but they have lost ground in areas of Cardiff.

Councillor Keith Jones, from Llanrumney, has been re-elected for Labour with 1269 votes. Llanrumney was a clean sweep for Labour, with all three candidates securing more than twice the number of votes of their closest rival.

Keith said: “We’re delighted. We’re up a good 600 votes on the nearest Tory [Giles Cross, 551 votes].

“We’ve worked incredibly hard for it. We haven’t been complacent, we’ve worked for every vote.”

Both Liberal Democrat seats in Llandaff were seized by the Conservatives, among other gains for the party.

A Welsh Conservative spokeswoman said: “We have seen some encouraging results overnight – and Cardiff was a success story for us. But we take nothing for granted. We can’t assume council results will be  repeated at the General Election.

“So if people want strong and stable leadership through Brexit and beyond, they have to vote for Theresa May and her Welsh Conservative candidates on June 8.”

Boroughs in Cardiff North, including Lisvane, Rhiwbina, Pontprennau and Old St Mellons saw clean sweeps for the Conservatives despite a recent visit to the area from Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

“I don’t think celebrity endorsements make much of an impact on local elections,” said Keith. “There’s definitely a distinction between the local and nationals. People know this is a local election, about local issues.

“Now, if someone is concerned about a national issue, like Brexit, then I think that has the potential to bring a very different set of votes, across all of Cardiff. But today it’s been all about what people value in their local community.

“I’m not sure whether people in Llanrumney will vote differently in June, but it’s a good possibility. We won today because the people here see the actions of the local council, they’ve seen what Labour councillors have done for them and like how they’re doing their jobs, how they work on the ground.

“We’re aware that in the next four or five years we’re going to have to battle to keep these votes, and keep fighting for Llanrumney.”

The Liberal Democrats faced a harder than expected election in Cardiff, with leader Elizabeth Clark losing her Cathays seat to Labour. Plaid Cymru secured one extra seat in Fairwater, ousting Labour’s Paul Mitchell and securing all three of the borough’s seats.

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